• SSTI's 2018 Annual Conference - December 3-5 in Salt Lake City

    The agenda and brochure are now online for SSTI's 2018 Annual Conference: Navigating the New Innovation Landscape. Join your peers for conversations around emerging challenges and opportunities related to science, tech, innovation & entrepreneurship. 

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The latest reporting and analysis on breakthroughs in technology-based economic development research and issues that matter most to you. To receive the SSTI Weekly Digest via email, sign up here.


Making smart cities smarter

During the past decade, there has been rapid growth of the smart cities movement – improving critical public service delivery, while reducing cost over the long run, through the Internet of Things, real time data gathering, better sensors and integrated systems management. The pace of growth is resulting in a wide variety of do-it-yourself models for smart communities to address their IoT data management and analysis needs.

Balancing STEM training and retraining needs

As the National Science Foundation announces awards for five new regional academic centers to encourage underrepresented populations to pursue and attain college degrees related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), a recent working paper from two Harvard researchers finds an explanation for the popularly perceived persistent shortage of STEM workers: changes in technology.  The rapid pace of technological change is making the skills of the existing STEM workfor

Manufacturing Day opens doors and minds on career opportunites

Working together to address the skilled labor shortage in manufacturing, manufacturers across the nation participate in Manufacturing Day as an opportunity to change perception. Always the first Friday in October, thousands of manufacturers open their doors to the public to exhibit what they do in modern manufacturing. Many community and technical colleges also participate to educate the public on the changing nature of the industry and highlight the skills required for a well-paid career in the field.

SSTI talks with the experts in special series

Starting next month the SSTI Weekly Digest will bring you a special series of interviews conducted with leaders in the innovation economy. We will feature topics like driving regional innovation on modest R&D budgets, honing your value proposition, and tips on working with your state legislature and making innovation a priority with your governor. The Q&A series will provide a quick preview into some of the insights we will explore in greater depth during SSTI’s 2018 Annual Conference: Navigating the New Innovation Landscape, Dec. 3-5 in Salt Lake City.

Global conference focuses on cluster initiatives

The 21st TCI Global Conference organized by the Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity will be held in Toronto, Oct. 16-18. The conference is expected to draw more than 400 international practitioners and will focus on cluster leadership, governance and evaluation, as well as designing innovation networks for knowledge exchange, with the goal of furthering economic development. It will feature 11 unique immersion experiences on Toronto clusters, including advanced manufacturing, emerging technology, energy, and the innovation ecosystem.

University conferences aim to win with entrepreneurship

A new platform to match promising start-ups with experienced business executives, investors and startup mentors from participating school’s alumni ranks is reporting momentum. Following a year of development, the University of Kentucky last month announced the launch of the Southeast Executives-on-Roster (XOR) and the Midwest Executives-on-Roster (XOR) platforms, collaborations between regionally-partnered universities to broaden access to experienced entrepreneurial talent and match that talent to university-affiliated startups in need of executive management. SSTI learned more about the program through interviews with two of the universities involved.

New data release from ACS

American Community Survey released its one-year estimates for 2017 on Sept. 13, with new statistics on income, poverty, educational attainment and a variety of other topics. ACS reports that many large metropolitan areas saw an increase in income and a decrease in poverty rates between 2016 and 2017.

CDFI Fund announces $165 million in awards, includes 4 VC funds

The CDFI Fund awarded $165 million in financial and technical assistance awards to 264 organizations yesterday. The awards include funding to SSTI member Launch NY and to three other groups certified by the CDFI Fund as community venture capital funds, out of applications from 432 organizations around the country. Yesterday’s announcement included an additional $37 million for organizations supporting financing for Native Americans, individuals with disabilities, and healthy food initiatives.

Cities reaching limits of fiscal expansion

Although more city finance officers are optimistic about the fiscal capacity of their cities than last year, that optimism is tempered by the fact that tax revenue growth is experiencing a year-over-year slowdown, with growth in service costs and other expenditure outpacing it. That, taken together with other results of the 2018 City Fiscal Conditions survey, suggests that cities are reaching the limits of fiscal expansion, according to the National League of Cities (NLC).

Federal agencies announce efforts to spur investment in rural broadband

Investments in rural broadband deployment can create significant returns on investments for state economies. A recent study from Purdue University's Center for Regional Development contends that Indiana could generate a $12 billion economic impact over 20 years with strategic broadband investments in rural areas across the state. Purdue researchers estimate that for every dollar invested in broadband by the state, there would a ROI of nearly $4 to the economy. The Federal Communication Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have recently announced efforts or proposed rules to create incentives for private investments, deploy new technologies, and develop other resources for rural communities across the country with the intent of spurring economic growth.

Carbon tech could spur WY job creation

The carbon tech industry in Wyoming could support an average of 2,600 jobs annually over the next 17 years, according to a new report by the American Jobs Project — a U.C. Berkeley-based nonpartisan think tank. Developed in partnership with the University of Wyoming, American Jobs Project researchers contend that the projected job growth could occur if the state government and private industry invested in growing this industry cluster. Carbon tech companies use coal, an abundant resource in Wyoming, to make graphene, carbon fiber and other products. In addition to job creation within the carbon tech industry, the authors cite job growth potential in downstream industries, primarily wind and transmission line developers.

NSF invites submissions to help set U.S. agenda for fundamental science & engineering research

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the 2026 Idea Machine – a prize competition to help set the U.S. agenda for future fundamental research in science and engineering. Participants can earn cash prizes and receive public recognition by submitting the pressing research questions that need to be answered in the coming decade. The top submission(s) will help guide NSF in the development of its next set of “Big Ideas.” Monetary prizes include a grand prize of $26,000 and approximately 12 Blue-Ribbon Panel awards of $1,000 each. Up to an additional 30 submissions will receive thank you letters from NSF leadership and 100 entries will receive public recognition by having their ideas posted on the Idea Machine website. Submissions are due Oct. 26.

 

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